Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[cancer] A lovely if somewhat fundamental parting gift from my chemo

Well, the chemotherapy regimen is not going quietly into the good night. My lower GI has been even weirder and more difficult this past week than what we laughingly call normal around here.

I'm not kidding. Go away now if this stuff grosses you out. I'll still be your friend when you're gone.


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Still there? On your head be it.

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Yesterday's festivities included twelve fully productive, very loose, violently odoriferous bowel movements, and about as many again false trips to the toilet. I'd guess I spent about four to five of my waking hours in the bathroom. Shedding Day is apparently extending indefinitely. I've begun consuming probiotics in the hopes this will help my intestinal flora fight all this off. Also been eating things like oatmeal for a while, just to anchor and slow things down.

This is insane, and it's becoming seriously problematic for even everyday life tasks. When calendula_witch returned from Seattle, I was in a quiet phase, but then H— brought the_child back from an outing, and they came bearing food. By the the time we got done with the socializing, the eating had re-triggered my gut. I literally couldn't have a conversation with calendula_witch because I kept have to interrupt myself in mid-sentence, go into the bathroom, and spend 20-30 minutes there. Plus the return of the double-shot, wherein I go, finish up, exit the bathroom, and promptly have an entire new demand to return. (This has been intermittently true since the 2008 colon surgery, and I don't know if it's a signaling error, or if I have a slight kink in there somewhere, or what, but by Ghu it's annoying.)

I eventually just wanted to go to sleep, badly, but literally every time I moved I would have either deeply noxious gas (chemo farts are vile beyond belief, trust me) or the need for a return to the toilet. So the simple act of getting into bed with its associate twists and turns of the body would drive me right back out again. I wound up settled in the easy chair in the living room, still trying to talk to calendula_witch, when I realized after a while that being fully reclined and not moving was allowing my gut to settle. I could still feel the pressure, but it wasn't so demanding.

I wound up spending the night in the chair, pretty much unmoving, until I shifted my weight around 3 am, and, presto!, had to return to the toilet. Since getting up at 4:30 to exercise, I've had three productive bowel movements (two before exercise and one after), and as I write, the time is still not even 6 am.

This is a freaking nightmare. All of which is causing me to seriously consider Imodium, except Imodium makes me so damned miserably stopped up that I wind up with the reverse problem to the one I'm experiencing right now. And the comedown off Imodium is no picnic, trust me.

So I can shut it all down, but that's kind of going nuclear on my own gut to do it. Or I can just let the storm rage until it winds down on its own. I'm getting plenty of fluids, and I'm never far from the bathroom, so it's not like I can't just keep going. I had really been looking forward to a somewhat relaxing weekend, and instead I'm getting world-class GI nonsense.

This, too, shall pass. I just want it to pass a little more swiftly and gracefully.

Tags: calendula, cancer, child, health, personal
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